I was wondering if someone, anyone, could help me understand the origins of this practice. I work for a medical company as a customer service rep and we get a ton of calls from patients, especially spouses, calling for their husbands. When you ask them for their names a number of them will always give their husband's name as, Mrs John Smith. That's not their name, but their husband's name. All they're doing is giving the feminine prefix on the name. Who's the origin behind that if anyone can provide it?